Panthers shed about 20 jobs

Donnie Shell retires

02/18/2009 2:46 AM

08/18/2009 12:55 AM

CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers became the latest local company to lose employees, laying off "approximately 20" staffers Tuesday, according to a team spokesman.

Team officials wouldn't confirm individual names or even departments, calling the job cuts "across the board."

Such moves are increasingly common, even for the country's most successful sports league. The NFL office has said it would cut 150 employees, as have several teams including Washington, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

The team cited the current economic conditions for the reduction.

While it would seem pertinent that longtime director of football development Donnie Shell retired Tuesday, a team spokesman said it was unrelated to the layoffs. Shell, a Rock Hill resident, has worked for the Panthers since 1994, helping players and their families with post-career opportunities and other off-field issues.

In their annual survey of pro sports franchises, Forbes magazine ranked the Panthers as the 14th most valuable franchise, worth $1 billion. Their numbers showed revenues last year of $221 million.

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